While Blue Apron and Sunbasket are two of the most popular meal delivery services in America, they cater to very different types of diners.
Blue Apron is one of the most affordable services, with a good selection of delicious meal kits that thousands of families across America enjoy each week. Sunbasket is the pricier of the two, offering both high-quality meal kits and prepared meals that cater to a wide range of dietary needs.
I’ve put together a thorough comparison of Blue Apron vs. Sunbasket, digging into all the details about price, ingredients, packaging, menu variety, and more. To compare even more services on the market, check out our list of the best healthy meal delivery services of 2022.
11+ balanced menu, 3-5 vegetarian options
18+ meal kit options, 20+ prepared meal options
$8.99 for prepared meals, $10.99 for meal kits
Free shipping on 3+ meals per week; $7.99 for less
Prepared meals plus meal kits ready in 15-40 minutes
Blue Apron’s menu is more than good enough for the average person, with 11+ simple, balanced meals on the Signature plan and 3-5 options each week on the Vegetarian plan. You also have the option of a handful of diabetes-friendly meals each week.
If you’re trying to watch your carb and calorie intake, you may be interested in Blue Apron’s Wellness track, with dishes approved by WW (formerly Weight Watchers). You can easily select these meals from the main menu thanks to the clear tags or sign up for the Wellness for 2 plan.
Sunbasket, on the other hand, offers dietitian-approved meals for pretty much any diet you could think of, including paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, carb-conscious, diabetes-friendly, pescatarian, and more.
While both companies allow you to filter out ingredients to meet your dietary needs, Sunbasket provides more options. Blue Apron lets you avoid a limited number of animal proteins, while Sunbasket also lets you remove other ingredients, such as dairy, soy, and grains, as well as choose dietary preferences you’d like to incorporate, such as high fiber or low calorie.
If you’re careful about the quality of the ingredients you put in your body, Sunbasket is one of the best services on the market, with USDA-certified organic produce, milk, yogurt, eggs, and tofu available 99% of the time, as well as antibiotic and hormone-free meat and seafood, free-range poultry, and wild-caught and farm-raised seafood.
With around fourteen meals on the menu each week, and only a small number of vegetarian options, Blue Apron doesn’t offer the same variety as many other meal delivery services.
That being said, the dishes suit a variety of tastes, including culinary twists on kid-friendly, American-style food, plus some more adventurous meals that incorporate international flavors.
Sunbasket has a more extensive menu, with 18+ meal kits and 20+ prepared meals, featuring Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisine, as well as a Family-Friendly tag for fussy eaters.
Both Blue Apron and Sunbasket offer more than just dinner. Blue Apron has a monthly wine box as well as an online market where you can buy kitchen utensils, branded spice blends, and fun extras – like a Blue Apron cookbook.
In addition to dinner, Sunbasket encourages you to eat healthy all day long with breakfast, lunch, snacks, and grocery store items, including smoothies, oatmeal cups, empanadas, grain bowls, pasta, cheeses, both fresh and pre-cooked proteins, crackers, nuts, chocolate, veggies and dip, and so much more.
Blue Apron and Sunbasket are quite different when it comes to pricing and shipping costs. With meal kits starting at $7.49 per plate, Blue Apron is one of the more affordable services on the market, while Sunbasket’s meal kits start at $10.99 and prepared meals at $8.99.
You get Blue Apron’s best price if you’re ordering four servings on the Signature plan four times a week. Plus, shipping is free if you order at least three meals per week, with a flat rate of $7.99 for anything less.
If you want to order the same number of meal kits per week from Sunbasket, you’ll be paying almost $3 more per meal, with an additional flat-rate shipping fee of $7.99. That being said, if you have specific dietary needs, are careful to eat high-quality, organic ingredients, or love Sunbasket’s wider menu, it may be worth the extra cost.
Winner: Blue Apron
Blue Apron delivers to every location in the continental USA. Sign up and fill in your zip code to see the exact days available for your area. Unlike Sunbasket, Blue Apron offers a range of delivery days including Friday and Saturday, great for those who like to cook at the end of the week.
Once your Blue Apron order has shipped, you can track it with information sent to both your email address and available on the Upcoming page in your account. Blue Apron’s mobile app will send you notifications updating you on the status of your delivery.
Sunbasket’s delivery options are more limited. The company doesn’t ship to AK, HI, MT, ND, and parts of NM. Delivery is available Sunday-Thursday although the exact days available will depend on your location. Sunbasket also has an app where you can conveniently manage your account and keep track of your orders.
Both companies package your ingredients in recyclable cardboard boxes with ice packs and insulated liners to maintain freshness. While it’s still recommended to refrigerate your order ASAP, you don’t need to be home to receive your box.
More than 85% of Blue Apron’s packaging is recyclable by weight, and the company uses easy-to-identify labels to help reduce the amount of recyclable material that gets thrown in the trash.
While there’s a full page on the website describing how to recycle each type of packaging, I still think that Blue Apron should reduce the use of materials that are either difficult or impossible to recycle.
Sunbasket is one of the most environmentally responsible meal delivery companies I’ve seen. The website provides detailed recycling instructions, as well as creative ideas for how each material can be reused. While many companies (including Blue Apron) package spices or small ingredients in little plastic baggies, Sunbasket makes an effort to use jars and containers that are easier to reuse.
Blue Apron exclusively offers meal kits, each of which takes between 20-55 minutes to get on the table. Prep times are clearly labeled on the menu for your convenience.
Sunbasket’s meal kits take 15-40 minutes to prepare. While prep times aren’t listed on each menu item, you can filter your menu selections to see only those meals that take less than 20 minutes to prepare, and easy meals that are “Speedy” or “Pre-Prepped” are clearly labeled.
Of course, if you want to keep it as quick as possible, go for Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready meals that arrive in microwave- and oven-safe containers and can be heated in just a few minutes.
Both Blue Apron and Sunbasket deliver pre-portioned ingredients and a recipe card with step-by-step instructions. Some of Blue Apron’s directions may be a little vague for a total cooking newbie. The recipes aren’t complicated, but if you’re not sure how much olive oil to drizzle or how much salt to add to your water, you may feel a bit insecure.
Sunbasket offers cute ways to get your kids involved in food prep, which is both fun and helpful for those trying to get dinner on the table with little ones around.
If you’re on a budget, enjoy cooking, and have a straightforward diet, Blue Apron may be an excellent fit. To discover other affordable meal kits, see our list of the cheapest meal kits for 2021.
However, if you have specific dietary restrictions, such as paleo or diabetes, you’re better off with Sunbasket. Yes, this service costs a bit more, but you’re getting organic, high-quality ingredients that cater to your unique diet.
Of course, if you want prepared meals (as opposed to just meal kits), then Sunbasket is the clear winner. For more information, check out our list of the best companies offering prepared meals.
Overall winner: Sunbasket